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Article

Reconciliation potential of Rwandans convicted of genocide

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 2 2019
Keywords Rwanda, genocide, perpetrators, posttraumatic stress, reconciliation
Authors Kevin Barnes-Ceeney, Laurie Leitch and Lior Gideon
AbstractAuthor's information

    This study examines the reconciliation potential of Rwandans incarcerated for the crime of genocide. Utilising survey data from 302 male and female prisoners incarcerated in the Rwandan Correctional System, this study explores genocide perpetrators’ depression, anxiety, anger-hostility and somatic symptoms, levels of posttraumatic stress, degree of social support and attitudes towards unity and reconciliation. The data demonstrate that engaging in killing can have deep psychological impacts for genocide perpetrators. The data indicate that although more than two decades have passed since the genocide, perpetrators are experiencing high levels of genocide-related posttraumatic suffering. Perpetrators are persistently re-experiencing genocide, purposefully avoiding thoughts and memories of the genocide, and experiencing physical and emotional arousal and reactivity. The sample had a strong desire for all Rwandans to live in peace and unity. There is, however, an urgent need for physical and mental health interventions, as well as services that facilitate the rebuilding of family relationships well in advance of release. Improving the physical and mental well-being of both perpetrators of the genocide and victims can only be a positive development as Rwanda continues to build a unified, reconciled and resilient future.


Kevin Barnes-Ceeney
Kevin Barnes-Ceeney is Assistant Professor at the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, University of New Haven, West Haven, USA.

Laurie Leitch
Laurie Leitch is Director, Threshold GlobalWorks, New York, USA.

Lior Gideon
Lior Gideon is Professor of Criminal Justice at the Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, USA.
Article

Listening deeply to public perceptions of Restorative Justice

What can researchers and practitioners learn?

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 2 2019
Keywords Public perception, media, apophatic listening, online comments, understandings of restorative justice
Authors Dorothy Vaandering and Kristin Reimer
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article explores public perceptions of restorative justice through the examination of media articles and negative online reader comments surrounding a high-profile incident in a Canadian university in which a restorative process was successfully engaged. Utilising relational discourse analysis, we identify how restorative justice is presented in the media and how that presentation is taken up by the public. Media representations of restorative justice create understandings among the public that are profoundly different from how many restorative justice advocates perceive it. The aim of this article is to examine media representations of restorative justice and how these are received by the public so that we can respond constructively.


Dorothy Vaandering
Dorothy Vaandering, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Canada.

Kristin Reimer
Kristin Reimer, Ph.D., is a lecturer in Restorative Justice and Relational Pedagogies at the Faculty of Education, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Gian Luigi Lepri
Gian Luigi Lepri is a psychologist and psychotherapist coordinator of the Restorative Justice Practices Team, University of Sassari, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences – Dumas, Italy.

Ernesto Lodi
Ernesto Lodi is researcher in Social Psychology at the University of Sassari, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences – Dumas, Italy.

Patrizia Patrizi
Patrizia Patrizi is full professor of Social Psychology and Psychology and Law at the University of Sassari, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences – Dumas, Italy, member of the board of the European Forum for Restorative Justice.

Christopher D. Marshall
Christopher Marshall is The Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
Article

How framing past political violence affects reconciliation in the Basque Country

The role of responsibility attributions and in-group victimhood

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 2 2019
Keywords Political violence, apologies, in-group victimhood, responsibility attributions, Basque Country
Authors Magdalena Bobowik, Darío Páez, Nekane Basabe e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    The present study examines the impact of reminders of political violence with and without an apology on the desire for intergroup revenge in the context of political violence in the Basque Country. We expected attributions of responsibility and perceived in-group victimhood to explain these effects. A total of 257 Basque adults were assigned to three conditions: no reminder, reminders of political violence without an apology and reminders of political violence with an apology. Results showed that, as compared to no reminder condition, reminders of political violence without an apology led to assigning more responsibility to police forces and the Spanish state and less responsibility to Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) and Basque nationalism, as well as increased perceptions of in-group victimhood and the desire for intergroup revenge. Reminders of political violence accompanied by an apology activated less assignment of responsibility to police forces and the Spanish state, but more responsibility attributions to ETA and Basque nationalism, as well as activated perceptions of in-group victimhood. As expected, there was a sequential indirect effect of reminders without an apology (but not with an apology) on revenge through responsibility attributions and then perceptions of in-group victimhood. We discuss implications of these findings for intergroup relations in post-conflict contexts.


Magdalena Bobowik
Magdalena Bobowik is Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Social Psychology and Methodology of Behaviour Sciences at the University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Spain.

Darío Páez
Darío Páez is Full Professor at the Department of Social Psychology and Methodology of Behaviour Sciences at the University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Spain and at the Facultad de Educación y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Andres Bello, Santiago de Chile, Chile.

Nekane Basabe
Nekane Basabe is Full Professor at the Department of Social Psychology and Methodology of Behaviour Sciences at the University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Spain.

Patrycja Slawuta
Patrycja Slawuta is a PhD Candidate at the New School for Social Research, New York, USA.

Albert Dzur
Albert Dzur is Distinguished Research Professor, Departments of Political Science and Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, USA.

Christa Pelikan
Christa Pelikan (PhD) is Senior Researcher at the Institute for the Sociology of Law and Criminology (IRKS), Vienna, Austria.
Article

Teaching restorative practices through games: an experiential and relational restorative pedagogy

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2019
Keywords restorative pedagogy, games, teaching, experiential learning
Authors Lindsey Pointer and Kathleen McGoey
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article argues for the use of games as an effective and dynamic way to teach restorative practices. Grounded in an understanding of restorative pedagogy, a paradigm of teaching in alignment with restorative values and principles, as well as experiential learning strategies, this article introduces games as a way for students to experience and more deeply understand restorative practices while building relationships and skills. Personal accounts of the authors about the impact of using games to teach restorative practices in their own communities are also included.


Lindsey Pointer
Lindsey Pointer is a PhD Candidate at Victoria University of Wellington and Creative Director of Aspen Restorative Consulting in Wellington, New Zealand.

Kathleen McGoey
Kathleen McGoey is the Executive Director of Longmont Community Justice Partnership, Longmont, USA.
Article

Restorative justice capacities in Middle Eastern culture and society: towards a hybrid model of juvenile justice in Palestine

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Hybrid model, restorative justice, non-state justice, Palestine, Middle East
Authors Mutaz Qafisheh and Ali Wardak
AbstractAuthor's information

    Alongside the state juvenile justice system, various forms of non-state justice providers are strongly prevalent in Palestine. Although the state juvenile justice has evolved into a modern system, it lacks adequate human, professional and infrastructural capacities to provide effective justice to all children. This field research has identified key non-state justice providers in Palestine and reveals that they are more accessible and speedy and also place more emphasis on peacemaking and reconciliation than the state justice system. It also reveals that in the processes of justice dispensation, occasional violation of children’s rights takes place within some of the male-dominated non-state justice providers. In order to minimise rights violation, while capitalising on the restorative capacities of non-state justice providers, a ‘hybrid model of juvenile justice in Palestine’ has been developed and is proposed. It is argued in this article that the ‘hybrid model’ not only promises to provide a coherent framework of links between Palestinian state juvenile justice and non-state justice providers, but also has the capacity to minimise rights violation through proposed internal and external oversight mechanisms. It is further maintained that translating the hybrid model into practice may result in the provision of more accessible, inclusive and restorative juvenile justice to all children in Palestine.


Mutaz Qafisheh
Mutaz Qafisheh is Dean and Associate Professor of International Law, College of Law and Political Science, Hebron University, Hebron, Palestine.

Ali Wardak
Ali Wardak is Professor of Criminology, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, United Kingdom.

Antony Pemberton
Antony Pemberton is Full Professor of Victimology and Director of the International Victimology Institute (INTERVICT), Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Annemieke Wolthuis
Annemieke Wolthuis (PhD) is an independent researcher, trainer and mediator in the field of human rights, children’s rights and restorative justice.

Jacques Claessen
Jacques Claessen (PhD) is an Associate Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology of the Faculty of Law at Maastricht University.

Gert Jan Slump
Gert Jan Slump (MA) is an independent criminologist, restorative justice consultant and social entrepreneur.

Anneke van Hoek
Anneke van Hoek (MA) is an independent criminologist.
Article

The attitudes of prisoners towards participation in restorative justice procedures

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Restorative justice, prisons, incarceration, punishment
Authors Inbal Peleg-Koriat and Dana Weimann-Saks
AbstractAuthor's information

    Restorative justice can be implemented at different stages of criminal proceedings. In Israel, restorative justice processes are mainly used prior to sentencing, while there are no restorative programmes for adults following sentencing and while serving their prison sentences. The aim of the present study is to examine the possibility of implementing restorative processes within prison walls. To this end, the present study empirically investigates the level of readiness and willingness of prisoners (n = 110) from two large prisons in Israel to participate in restorative processes and examines the psychological mechanisms underlying their attitudes towards actual participation in these processes. The study proposes a model according to which the relationship between the cognitive component of attitude towards victims and the harm caused by the offence (beliefs and thoughts) and the behavioural component of attitude (the inclination to participate in restorative processes) is mediated by the affective component of attitude towards the offence (sense of guilt and shame). The findings of the study support the proposed model. The study also found that the more prisoners perceived the harm they caused as having more dimensions (physical, economic, emotional), the more positive their attitudes towards restorative justice would be. This study will advance research into restorative justice at a stage that has not previously been researched in Israel and has rarely been investigated elsewhere.


Inbal Peleg-Koriat
Inbal Peleg-Koriat, PhD, is a lawyer and conflict management and negotiation specialist, and a faculty member at the Yezreel Valley Academic College, Israel.

Dana Weimann-Saks
Dana Weimann-Saks, PhD, is a lawyer and a social psychologist, and also a faculty member at the Yezreel Valley Academic College.
Article

Exploring the intertwining between human rights and restorative justice in private cross-border disputes

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2019
Keywords International human rights, private actors, horizontal effect, restorative justice
Authors Marta Sá Rebelo
AbstractAuthor's information

    International human rights instruments operate on the assumption that states are the focal human rights duty bearers. However, private actors can harm human rights as well. Moreover, since mechanisms at a supranational level are lacking, these instruments rely primarily on states for their enforcement. Yet states’ internal rules and courts are meant to address infringements that are confined within their borders, and are therefore often structurally unable to deal with violations having transnational impact. Restorative justice has proven to respond in depth to different kinds of wrongdoing and, although addressing the peculiarities of each case, restorative procedures can systemically prevent deviant behaviour as well. Additionally, as restorative justice relies on voluntary participation it need not operate in a specific territory. Having this broader picture in mind, the article explores whether restorative justice might be adequate for dealing with human rights infringements perpetrated by private actors that have cross-border impact.


Marta Sá Rebelo
Marta Sá Rebelo is a PhD researcher at Católica Global School of Law and a teaching assistant at Católica Lisbon School of Law, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Lisbon, Portugal.
Article

Access_open The personal is political: the restorative dialectic of child inclusion

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 3 2018
Keywords Child participation, feminist analysis, intersectionality, family group conferencing, child sexual abuse
Authors Joan Pennell
AbstractAuthor's information

    The dialectic of the ‘personal is political’ is starkly evident in the lives of abused and neglected children and their families involved with child protection services. State intervention into families renders private matters into public issues. Restorative approaches in the child protection context offer a vital test of their efficacy in reshaping family and family-state relationships. Drawing upon the author’s experience as a young feminist and child protection worker, this article identifies three dynamics of the restorative dialectic: children’s testimony, women’s responsibilisation and child validation. A case study of a sexually abused teen demonstrates how the restorative process of family group conferencing transforms these dynamics. Children’s testimony of giving evidence in court becomes speaking for/speaking with; women blaming becomes collective responsibilisation; and child protectionism becomes validation of children and their cultural heritage. Together these movements uphold a relational approach to restorative justice that nudges norms toward greater equity.


Joan Pennell
Joan Pennell is Professor Emerita with the Center for Family and Community Engagement, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, USA. Contact author: jpennell@ncsu.edu. Funding: The Newfoundland & Labrador implementation research was supported by Health Canada [formerly Health & Welfare], Family Violence Prevention Division; Justice Canada, Discretionary Funds Section; Solicitor General of Canada; and Labrador Inuit Health Commission. The North Carolina work was supported by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Social Services. Disclosure Statement: There are no financial conflicts of interest. Geolocation: The family group conference example is from Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
Article

Access_open Restorative justice as feminist practice

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 3 2018
Keywords Restorative justice, gender-based violence, feminism
Authors Leigh Goodmark
AbstractAuthor's information

    Feminists have viewed the implementation of restorative practices warily, particularly in the context of gender-based harms. Concerns include the devaluing of gender-based harms, the reprivatisation of violence against women and the inability of restorative practitioners to guarantee safety for people subjected to abuse. But this article will argue that restorative justice can be a uniquely feminist practice, growing out of the same mistrust of state-based systems and engagement of the community that animated the early feminist movement. Although some caution is warranted, restorative justice serves the feminist goals of amplifying women’s voices, fostering women’s autonomy and empowerment, engaging community, avoiding gender essentialism and employing an intersectional analysis, transforming patriarchal structures and ending violence against women.


Leigh Goodmark
Leigh Goodmark is Professor of Law and Director of the Gender Violence Clinic at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, Baltimore, USA. Contact author: lgoodmark@law.umaryland.edu.
Article

Access_open Keeping complexity alive: restorative and responsive approaches to culture change

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 3 2018
Keywords Restorative justice, responsive regulation, relational governance, complexity
Authors Gale Burford
AbstractAuthor's information

    The human services are fraught with history of failure related to grasping oversimplified, across-the-board solutions that are expected to work in all situations for all groups of people. This article reviews some of the long-standing and current challenges for governance of programmes in maintaining cultures that safeguard restorative and responsive standards, principles and values, thereby amplifying and enhancing their centrality to relational engagement within families, groups, communities and organisations. Despite their potential for helping groups of people grapple with the complex dynamics that impact their lives, restorative justice approaches are seen as no less vulnerable to being whittled down to technical routines through practitioner and sponsor colonisation than other practices. This article explores some of the ways culture can work to erode and support the achievement of restorative standards, and why restorative justice and regulation that is responsive to the ongoing experiences of affected persons offers unique paths forward for achieving justice. Included in this exploration are the ways that moral panic and top-down, command-and-control management narrow relational approaches to tackling complex problems and protect interests that reproduce social and economic inequality.


Gale Burford
Gale Burford is Emeritus Professor of Social Work, University of Vermont, Burlington, USA. Contact author: gburford@uvm.edu. Disclosure statement: There are no financial conflicts of interest.
Article

Access_open Restorative responses to campus sexual harm: promising practices and challenges

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 3 2018
Keywords Sexual assault, feminist, restorative justice in colleges and universities
Authors Donna Coker
AbstractAuthor's information

    The purpose of this article is to examine restorative approaches to campus sexual harm. A restorative response may provide support and validation for survivors, a pathway for personal change for those who cause sexual harm, and assist in changing campus culture. The article addresses three significant challenges to developing a restorative response. The first challenge is the influence of a pervasive ideology that I refer to as crime logic. A second challenge is the need for an intersectional response that addresses the potential for bias in decisions by campus administrators and restorative justice practitioners. The third challenge is to develop restorative approaches for circumstances in which a victim/perpetrator dyad is not appropriate.


Donna Coker
Donna Coker is Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law, Miami, USA. Contact author: dcoker@law.miami.edu.

Albert Dzur
Albert Dzur is Professor, Departments of Political Science and Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, USA. Contact author: awdzur@bgsu.edu.

Elena Ammannato
Elena Ammannato is a PhD and research assistant, Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, Como (Italy). Contact author: elena.ammannato@gmail.com.

Marie Keenan
Marie Keenan is a lecturer and researcher at the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin, a forensic and systemic psychologist and a restorative justice practitioner, Dublin, Ireland. Contact author: marie.keenan@ucd.ie.
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